“Why Dystopia Now? Exploring the Place, Value, and Necessity of Speculative and Dystopian Themes in Maurice Carlos Ruffin’s We Cast a Shadow”
Presented by Maurice Ruffin and Hilary Word
In this SouthTalk, Southern Studies MA graduate Hilary Word and 2020–21 University of Mississippi Grisham Writer in Residence, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, sit down to discuss Ruffin’s latest work, the dystopian-satire novel We Cast a Shadow. Word and Ruffin expand upon their prerecorded conversation on Ruffin’s book in this live Q&A. The prerecorded conversation is below.
Maurice Carlos Ruffin’s novel We Cast a Shadow was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and was longlisted for the PEN America Open Book Prize, the Center for Fiction Prize, and the Aspen Words Literary Prize. A New Orleans native, Ruffin is a professor of creative writing at Louisiana State University. His forthcoming book of short stories, The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You, will be published in 2021.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, but raised in both Georgia and Mississippi, Hilary Word now proudly claims Jackson, Mississippi, as her home. She completed her undergraduate education at Tougaloo College, where she obtained a BA in history in May 2017. She entered the Southern Studies MA program in the fall of 2018 and graduated in May 2020. Word’s thesis, “Post-Soul Speculation: An Exploration of Afro-Southern Speculative Fiction,” earned her the Sue Hart Prize for outstanding paper at the intersection of Southern Studies and gender studies.
SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) that explores the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. As a result of the current health crisis, all events will be virtual, free, and accessible on the Center’s YouTube channel. Visit the Center’s website for up-to-date information about all Center events. Registration will be required for all events.